1.43 lakh units for economically weaker sections: R.Vaithilingam

The State will get an additional 1.85 lakh housing units in the next five years at a cost of Rs.17,230 crore. Of these, 1.43 lakh units would be for the economically weaker sections, R.Vaithilingam, Minister for Housing and Urban Development said on Monday.

Speaking at the inauguration of Municipalika, ‘10 international conference and exhibition on good urban governance for safe, healthy, green, inclusive and smart cities', he said 39,000 units were for other income groups divided into low, medium and high.

The three-day exhibition and conference at the Chennai Trade Centre is being organised by Good Governance India Foundation.

He said that as land was not available with the government for construction of dwelling units, in future, land pooling and joint ventures with land owners would be conceptualised for availing land for projects.

K.P. Munusamy Minister for Municipal Administration said that under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM), during 2011-12, it has been proposed to utilise Rs.1,361 crore for housing and infrastructure programmes in urban areas in the State.

The government, he said, also plans to ensure that Tamil Nadu becomes an open defecation-free State by 2015 by developing a strategy and design for modern public toilets to take care of the specific requirements of women, children, the aged and persons with disability.

British Deputy High Commissioner in South India Mike Nithavrianakis said that addressing climate change and promoting low carbon development is of great importance to the United Kingdom.

The UK, he said was a global hub for cost-effective, innovative low-carbon solutions. In India, he said the UK had been working with various partners and the recurring theme was sustainable, energy efficient, low-carbon infrastructure.

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Phanindra Reddy said that the Chennai Metropolitan Development Agency has just completed the 3 traffic study and already some departments had started work on skywalks and foot over bridges from that.

Chennai Mayor Saidai S Duraisamy, and V.Suresh, advisor and Sanjiv Agarwal, Founder Trustee of Good Governance India Foundation spoke.

At the exhibition, green technologies and innovative equipment in areas including sewage treatment, unclogging drains, lighting, power saving and roads were on display.

An interesting stall features a waste water recycling technology developed by a team of alumnus of IIT Mumbai where 1,000 litres can be recycled at Rs.4. The technology is commercially available under the name Sugam Paryavaran Vikalp and is being used in Karnataka and Puducherry, said its co-inventor Avinash Kadam.

Digisewer, a camera mounted on wheels and that can enter sewer and water pipelines and being used in Mumbai is an interesting exhibit. LED lights designed as street lights, tube lights, indoor bulbs and focus lamps are being showcased by SRM Electronics. The Auroville stall showcases solar powered lamps and sustainable development.

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Deepa H. RamakrishnanJune 28, 2012